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The Helsinki summit

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  • The Helsinki summit

    The republic of Finland is not unlike Switzerland, a country that has turned its geostrategical position into an asset that has often contributed to defusing international conflicts through mediation. That is why Finland, although an EU and Eurozone member, has never joined NATO and maintains a "friendship and cooperation" treaty with Russia. So its capital Helsinki, the city where also the OSCE was founded once and where George Bush senior met Michail Gorbachev, or Bill Clinton talked to Boris Yeltsin, has not been chosen as the venue for the Trump/Putin summit by chance.
    Yet the political clouds on the horizon are also concerning the generally optimistic Finns. Since their ability to balance between the blocs and interests on their doorstep also depends on both sides respecting once agreed rules and both sides predictability. Which is in question with Putin (Crimea) as well as with Trump.
    So while such a summit is nothing new and would normally not have awoken the capital out of its summer sleep, this time is different.
    Finns are following closely and with a degree of concern what the two most divisive leaders ( for Finns, according to surveys) might come up with :

    Last edited by Voland; 07-13-2018, 02:34 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks, Voland.

    That is an interesting summary. The Reuters article does seem pretty balanced.


    • #3
      Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
      Thanks, Voland.

      That is an interesting summary. The Reuters article does seem pretty balanced.
      I don't believe this idiot is going forward with this summit. Apparently he was briefed on these indictments which he now has begun calling the investigation a rigged witch hunt. Perhaps he plans to reassure Putin that don't worry I'll witch hunt it away.


      • #4
        Originally posted by redrover View Post

        I don't believe this idiot is going forward with this summit. Apparently he was briefed on these indictments which he now has begun calling the investigation a rigged witch hunt. Perhaps he plans to reassure Putin that don't worry I'll witch hunt it away.
        I do believe he will go through with it, even if ONLY because it will infuriate the left and cause the media to go into nuclear melt down.


        • #5
          Well, it is not as if the message hadnt been abundantly clear in Brussels and in London ( and before) , yet calling the nations of the European Union officially a "foe" of America, ahead of China and Russia, and ahead of a summit with Putin -- is the next diplomatic bomb :


          • #6
            Even Fox News, that is not exactly anti-Trump, was less than impressed (which is beeing generous) with the US presidents Helsinki performance. Europeans ( especially Germans, whose trashing by Trump was unprecented post WW II ) will now draw their conclusions.
            Trump has failed to press Putin on a single point, not on Crimea (Trump did not challenge his claim that Crimea was taken legally), not on eastern Ukraine (Trump did not challenge his claim that Ukraine alone is to blame for the war), not on Syria (Russias Iran alliance ?), not on the poisoning of russian dissidents in the UK that Theresa Mays governement links to russian governement circles. He even let the increasingly grinning russian president do most of the talking. And while reservations about a judgement by his own intelligence services about russian interference in Americas and other nations elections would be one thing, it is quite another to side with Putin against his own intelligence services in public. That is politics.
            On top of that he has called the EU a "foe" , but Russia a "good competitor", which he means as a "compliment", he has massively intervened in both german and UK politics AGAINST the elected governements (which will have consequences negatively affecting the USs policy interests, there is just no doubt about that) and Putins next steps will predictably amount to exploiting that--for russian interests....


            Damian Collins, a Conservative member of parliament in the U.K. who is leading a parliamentary inquiry into Russias use of social media and tech companies to influence the Brexit vote, was blunt: To deny the existence of evidence linking Russia to disinformation and interference is to say to countries that are the victim of this that they are on their own. Collins added that the world had seen odd messages from Trump over the past week. On the one hand, Trump has said, Spend more on security, and The influence of Russia on your country is too great. (Trump slammed Germany during last weeks nato summit in Brussels, accusing them of relying too much on Russia for oil and gas.) On the other hand, he says Russia is not interfering, Collins continued. So hes saying, essentially, If you defend yourself against Russia, you do it without my support.


            By the way : Emmanuel Macrons press conference with Putin went differently :


            I am well aware of Russias indispensable role in solving some international issues, but I believe that Russia, for its part, should also respect our interests, the interests of our sovereignty as well as the interests of our partners, Macron said May 24. Standing besides Putin, he cited deep differences between the two countries on the Assad regimes use of chemical weapons (Syria and Russia deny such weapons were used in the face of evidence to the contrary), but added: I believe that we should coordinate our efforts to create a mechanism for determining responsibility in the event of fresh cases of chemical weapons being used by this or that side.

            Macron also defended his meeting with representatives in Russia of NGOs and human-rights organizations, saying hed spoken with Putin absolutely transparently about Russian NGOs and human rights. I told the President that these two issues are very sensitive for this country because our intellectual elite is very concerned over them, Macron said.

            Macron also spoke about Russias alleged cyberattacks across Europe, calling this is a real problem today. It is fueling some of the issues on human rights that exist in our society because cyberattacks have their economic and security aspects. It wasnt the first time Macron had called out Putin this way. In a news conference with Putin soon after his election, Macron singled out Sputnik and RT, the state-funded Russian media organizations, as being agencies of influence and propaganda, lying propagandano more, no less.
            Last edited by Voland; 07-17-2018, 04:55 AM.


            • #7
              I have read four accounts of this "press conference" after the one-on-one meeting with Putin. Everyone seems to agree Trump failed and Putin scored big. USAToday went on to say Trump effectively gave Putin carte blanche to behave in any manner he chooses, with impunity because Trump is not going to hold him accountable.

              The Fox News report you cite above included quotes and observations from several other media sources, including those from both sides of the pandering media ... and all seemed to agree: Trump blew it.

              I was particularly dismayed that Trump took a position CONTRARY to our own intelligence community (which doesn't matter in private, but in PUBLIC, you always support the home team).


              • #8
                Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
                I have read four accounts of this "press conference" after the one-on-one meeting with Putin. Everyone seems to agree Trump failed and Putin scored big. USAToday went on to say Trump effectively gave Putin carte blanche to behave in any manner he chooses, with impunity because Trump is not going to hold him accountable.

                The Fox News report you cite above included quotes and observations from several other media sources, including those from both sides of the pandering media ... and all seemed to agree: Trump blew it.

                I was particularly dismayed that Trump took a position CONTRARY to our own intelligence community (which doesn't matter in private, but in PUBLIC, you always support the home team).

                Yes, indeed. Putin has not made a single concession. He has not even moderated his usual talking points. Ukraine, Crimea, Syria, nothing....And the US president not only had nothing to say in response, he even publicly sided with Putin against Americas intelligence services.
                The thing is : Russias interference can be considered proven, alleged collusion by the Trump campaign is unproven. They are different things. Accepting point one does not necessarily mean to question the legitimacy of the election ( unless it was proven). Yet Trump is either not willing or not able to separate the two, up to the extent of absolving Putin of any blame ( without having to).
                The impact of that around the world is hard to overestimate even as he apparently tries to walk his rethoric back. A bit.
                In the Baltics, that have every reason to feel threatened by Putin the alarm bells went off today. Also as Estonia and Latvia registered unusual incursions of russian planes and ships on their territory.
                By the way : The russian press expressed disbelief that Trump handed Putin that triumph and so easily. And they also registered that the US president treated Putin VERY differently than some of his countrys longest standing Allies. Also the latter will be watching very closely how far the Helsinki summit will shape US policy now.



                • #9
                  OTOH, it is not as disastrous as some are trying to make it out to be.

                  Sure, I really wish Trump had shown up as the savvy business negotiator, standing up for America and all, and he DID apologize to our intelligence community, affirming his loyalty to them...


                  the two major powers ... NUCLEAR powers ... in the world really SHOULD be more friendly towards each other than what has been the case in the past. O.K., Putin didn't give up anything but, effectively, neither did Trump (other than some respect from others). Trump made a poor showing and Putin made a great showing, but in the final analysis, nothing has changed materially.


                  • #10
                    "There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality. And what I consistently say to them, and what I say to President Putin, is that's the past: We've got to think about the future, and there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to cooperate more effectively than we do." -Barack Obama, August 6, 2013

                    Why does Obama say it and the media fawns all over him, but when Trump says almost the same thing, he's branded a traitor?

                    Double standard, much?


                    • #11
                      Huckabee swings for the cheap seats and the ball entered low earth orbit vis a vis, Hillary's attempt at sarcasm towards Trump:



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
                        "There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality. And what I consistently say to them, and what I say to President Putin, is that's the past: We've got to think about the future, and there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to cooperate more effectively than we do." -Barack Obama, August 6, 2013

                        Why does Obama say it and the media fawns all over him, but when Trump says almost the same thing, he's branded a traitor?

                        Double standard, much?

                        Well, that was before the annexation of Crimea, the hybrid "little green men" - war inflicted on eastern Ukraine ( and of course there is no reason to doubt Mr. Putins claim that all Russians fighting there are "just volunteers", not russian military, right ?), that was before Russia deploying nuclear armed missiles along the border with Lithuania (a NATO member), that was before the assasination or attempted assasination of a bunch of russian dissidents in the UK, that was before the shootdown of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, that killed mainly dutch citizens ( and that an international commission of neutral investigators blamed on Russia), that was before russian attempts to interfere in malign ways in the elections of France, Germany, the Netherlands , the UK and a bunch of other nations ( including the US). That was before plenty of verbal agression against the baltic nations. All issues that Trump failed to press or nail Putin on. At all. In diplomatic terms that is like saying : "Do as you please". And then the thing with siding with Putin on intelligence ?
                        Need I say why that undermines the USs credibility ?
                        And he did it again by the way :



                        • #13
                          I think the explanation is much simpler than that.

                          You cant put makeup on that pig, Voland: It is more likely the press fawned over Obama and disparages Trump.